Equal support for girls’ sports investigated
August 19, 2006, 10:05 AM EDT
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (AP) _ Should girls’ sports have cheerleaders too? A federal civil-rights office is looking into a complaint that asks for equal promotion and publicity in one southern New York athletic conference.
The president of the Southern Tier Athletic Conference says a parent complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights inspired the investigation.
“From what we understand, there was a complaint made by a parent that cheerleaders did not cheer at events other than football and boys’ basketball,” Richard Stank says. His conference includes 20 large-enrollment high schools across the Southern Tier.
Stack says the civil-rights office is questioning coaches and athletic officials.
Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination against students, requires equal benefits for girls’ and boys’ teams, including cheerleader and band support, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation, an advocacy group.
David Garbarino, athletic director for the Binghamton City School District, says STAC’s practice has been not to have cheerleaders at girls’ games.
“If you’re looking at it in black and white, there is a violation,” he said.
The civil rights office’s public affairs department did not return calls Friday.
Time to place bets: mom or dad who filed the complaint?